This post below is a re-share of an oldie but goodie, nonetheless I believe it is as relevant today as it was 4 years ago. And perhaps this message is even more important today when for many of us, our lives are quite turbulent. The joy of dance is not only comfort but quite necessary to keep our sanity. So, here’s to joy, connection, and the love to dance…
Why do you dance Tango?
We are all drawn to tango for different reasons. But one of the main reasons many of us dance Tango is for the deep connection and joy that transpires.
Last week, I had two private lessons. One with each of the world-famous Bay Area Tango instructors, Homer and Cristina Ladas. This was my first private lesson with either of them and my first private lesson in many years, so I was a little nervous and unsure of what to expect. What I learned is that these two are not only very kind and generous people, but have a depth of knowledge in Argentine Tango and are able to communicate this knowledge in a clear and concise manner. I can definitely see why their popularity has grown all over the world. During my private lessons, they both gave me exactly what I needed to improve. Having been dancing Tango for quite some time, I was aware that I had gotten into a comfort zone complete with bad habits and forgotten techniques. They both gave me specific tips that helped to make my dancing better for myself and my partner.
Even though all the information they gave me was important and useful, it was something Homer mentioned toward the end of our lesson that really resonated. He said that once I began to relax, (I really was quite nervous at the beginning of our lesson) he noticed that I began to dance with more energy and spirit and that it made all the difference.
This was my revelation:
One can learn technique and figures until the end of time, but if you don’t dance with your full spirit, if you don’t give yourself fully to the dance, you will only be moving your body and not really dancing.
Don’t get me wrong, learning proper technique is very important, but there is a time and place for it. During a lesson, practicing at home or with your partner at the practicas, is when you should work on figures and technique. But when you get to the milonga, this is your opportunity to truly dance. One of the beautiful things about Tango is that the milonga is the designated place for the enjoyment of the dance. Milongas are where you hug and kiss friends, meet new ones, have a drink, a bite to eat, socialize, and of course dance. Let the practice time be for working on how to dance and let the milongas be where you let your creativity, energy, passion and emotions flow. When we are fully connected with the music and our partners, our bodies will naturally know what to do without our brains getting in the way.
I used to think the connection was only about the physical contact between two people; the embrace, our chests pressed together, our arms wrapped around each other and our heads lightly touching. And it is partially about that. But the connection is much more than physical. It’s the emotional and spiritual connection that transpires during that tanda that makes the dance truly amazing.
So, the next time you go out dancing, dance with your spirit, be fully present, and find your JOY.
Have you had a Tango revelation? Please share your revelations in the comments section below.